Kerry Connelly: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part One)

On this podcast we often explore the toxic side of silence. In this episode we explore one of the most pervasive forms of toxic silence in our culture: the silence embedded in white privilege and systemic racism. Guiding us in this exploration is author Kerry Connelly.

Kerry Connelly is a writer, certified life coach, creator of the no-nonsense blog Jerseygirl, JESUS, and host of the “White on White” podcast, which reimagines white identity apart from the dead end of pseudo-supremacy.

Her latest book is Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. Kerry Connelly is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Christian Theological Seminary (where she first met Cassidy Hall). She lives in New Jersey with her family.

I am much more of an actor, a doer, a go out and push — and that’s something that I have to work to heal a little bit in myself, through silence. — Kerry Connelly

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza (who has also been a guest on this podcast) praised Good White Racist? by saying, “The work that needs to be done is white-on-white race talk. By that I mean, white folks talking to white folks about the ways white supremacy is internalized and therefore shows up in their social practice. Kerry endeavors to do just this, and I think we all should invest our time in this book!”

This is part one of a two-part episode. Click here to listen to part two.

A systemic example of white silence is, for example, the way that we as a society will gaslight people of color who are trying to call out racism, and the Take a Knee movement is a great example of that. The Take a Knee movement is a perfect example of people of color attempting to peacefully bring attention to a very specific result of systemic racism in our country, which is police brutality, and white people will talk about everything but the issue at hand — we will talk about the flag, we will talk about our soldiers, we will talk about national pride, we will talk about patriotism… but we refuse, we insist upon remaining silent about discussing the actual problem. — Kerry Connelly

Some of the resources and authors mentioned in this episode:

For white people to find our meaning, and to find our essence of being apart from this construct of pseudo-supremacy, that’s the real work that white people have to do. Because until we can do that, we’re never going to be truly willing to dismantle racist systems. — Kerry Connelly

Episode 101: Silence, Privilege, and Dismantling Racism (Part One): A Conversation with Kerry Connelly (Part One)
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
With: Kevin Johnson, Carl McColman
Guest: Kerry Connelly
Date Recorded: April 13, 2020

Featured photo: George Washington Bridge, photo by James Ting on Unsplash.

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Carl McColman
Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.